"My relationship with Congress will never be the same again. They made us wait 90 to 100 days to give the most basic human aid that is required. It's absolutely disgraceful," King said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And when I see these Republicans, we slap each other on the back, all the camaraderie, 'hey, we're great friends.' All I know is there were people who were close to dying in my district and no one gave a damn."
The fiery New York lawmaker then accused Republicans of engaging hypocrisy for voting against Sandy aid and then leaning on northeastern donors — and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) — to raise money. King singled out Rubio, who quietly courted Wall Street donors earlier this year. In February, King said Rubio had some "balls" to seek cash from New York donors after voting against Sandy relief, and on Friday the congressman continued to take the Florida Republican to task.
"And by the way, guys like Marco Rubio in Florida. All the money that your people have gotten in Florida over the years from every hurricane that came along," King said. "And this guy has the nerve to vote against money for New York and then come up here and try to raise money. You know, he can forget it."
“Being from New York we’re not supposed to be suckers,” Mr. King told Politicker this morning. “It’s bad enough that these guys voted against it, that’s inexcusable enough. But to have the balls to come in and say, ‘We screwed you now make us president?’”
Mr. King went on to urge Empire State donors to cut off Mr. Rubio and any other member of Congress who “threw a knife in the back in New York” by voting “no” on the bill.
“Rubio and these other Republican candidates are coming to New York to raise money,” he said. “I don’t think any senator or congressman who voted against aid for Sandy should get one nickel from New York.”
Yeah, that Marco. What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in, shall we say......"bolas?" He could just be too stupid to realize how such a thing might look. Or he just doesn't care. His smarts, or the lack thereof have been a topic of debate for years.
Either way, King needn't worry too much about that knife in his back. There's a lot of time between now and 2016, and Rubio will have plenty of others to use it on before he's finished.
Yesterday, he had the chance to do the right thing again, and once again he said no to $50.5 billion in aid to Hurricane Sandy victims.
When it comes to helping out in a disaster, Rubio picks and chooses who deserves aid and who doesn't.
In March of 2012, Rubio sided with the oil companies when he voted against the Restore Act, the post BP Gulf restoration bill. His excuse then was similar. He said at the time "I will not support raising taxes to pay for BP’s mess or to pay for new spending projects across the country that have nothing to do with Gulf Coast restoration." He also claimed it was a "federal power grab." Translation: Claim outrage over something to create a distraction while giving a pass to to BP. After all, the real victims aren't big donors like the oil and gas companies are.
Rubio also didn't have a problem when he asked for help for agriculture back in 2011 when Florida suffered a deep freeze. In a press release at the time, he said this:
“We hope you will expedite Florida’s request for a disaster declaration so our agriculture community can begin the long road to recovery from the devastating weather conditions,” members of the delegation wrote to U.S.D.A. Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“This past December was one of the coldest in Florida’s history with consecutive days of sustained hours of temperatures below freezing. The extreme weather caused significant crop loss and damage across our state.”
“The agriculture community is vital to Florida’s economy and a disaster declaration is necessary to help this vital industry recover from December’s severe weather,” said Senator Marco Rubio.
But hurricane victims, or those that have suffered damages thanks to an oil spill? Nope. Sorry folks.
In those cases, Rubio gives the victims the deep freeze.
(Photo: Martha Jackovics, from The 5 Spot, Seattle, WA.)
Yesterday while Mitt Romney was busy staging his campaign event disaster relief event in Ohio, (cough-cough) reporters asked him 14 times if he still stands by his statement that he would get rid of FEMA, handing disaster relief back to the states, but he ignored them, refused to answer, and kept loading a truck with items the Red Cross neither needs, nor wants, so they could drive that truck to an undisclosed location somewhere in New Jersey.
A fair question right before people are expected to vote for him and it deserves an answer, but I guess Romney expects votes based on just how awesome he tells you he is, since he hasn't answered reporters questions, nor given an interview in weeks. Still, voters deserve an answer.
The entire region was under flood warnings, but the problem was especially acute along the Merrimack River, especially in the city of Lowell, where Romney's response was considered, well, leaky. The right-leaning Lowell Sun was particularly displeased:
We find it inconceivable that Gov. Mitt Romney claims the state can do nothing to help those residents still struggling to rebuild homes and businesses after the May flood. Massachusetts is sitting on millions in unspent emergency funds from Hurricane Katrina and more than $1 billion in cash reserves, yet Romney has failed to even respond to the Lowell delegation's requests to discuss additional aid for victims. The governor's spokesman — since Romney can't be bothered to comment now that the photo opportunities have dried up even though some residents' basements haven't — said the state will not consider spending its own money for flood victims until it's clear how much cash the federal government will give.....
....Look, America, we here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) may not know much, even though we occasionally act like we know everything, but, trust us. We know this guy. There's a reason why he's going to lose this state by more than 20 points. The only thing about him that you can depend on is that there's never any room in the lifeboat for The Help.
On top of this, just try to imagine a President Romney gutting FEMA and
turning over disaster relief to the states. Can you imagine what would
happen in Florida? How would Gov. Rick Scott handle disaster relief when
the next hurricane hits our state? The last time there was the threat of one, Scott showed up about three days later to tell people to "be prepared" after the threat had passed for the most part.
When a hurricane, or other disaster hits Florida, do you really want to hear "we're Mitt Romney and Rick Scott, and we're here to help?"
On second thought, they would probably never say such a thing, much less do it.
If you haven't already done so, think before you vote.
Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said the connection was found in preliminary tests performed by Auburn University, and additional tests will be conducted.
"We want to find out exactly what we are dealing with," Kennon said.
Tropical Storm Lee dumped tar balls in concentrated areas for miles along the Alabama coast. Some were nearly as large as baseballs and irregularly shaped, leading officials to believe they were broken off from large mats of tar submerged on the Gulf's sandy floor.
BP PLC said its assessments found light to moderate concentrations of tar balls in some areas. Additional cleanup workers were added at the request of area leaders, the company said, and teams will work additional hours to remove the tar balls.
There is also speculation that the tar balls may not just be remnants of last year's spill, but could be the result of new leaks from the Maconda well. BP denies those claims of a new leak.
New leak or not, the oil cleanup is far from over, and not surprisingly there's no loss of private companies poised to "clean up" not only all that oil, but big government contracts as well. Elected officials in Florida have made no secret that they may again be willing to offer up offshore drilling off the coast of Florida.
Recently Tea Party Wingnut and Presidential candidate, Republican Michele Bachmann tried to woo Florida voters with the idea that drilling in the Everglades was also a fantastic idea. Not one to pass up an opportunity to pander to the same Tea Nut crowd, Gov. Rick Scott also jumped on Bachmann's crazy new energy idea and said he might look into drilling there as well. He was forced to back-pedal on that soon after, but some aren't convinced we've heard the last of opening up the Everglades for drilling. Future oil drilling, and future disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf would provide a lot of work for private contractors seeking to "clean up" with big government contracts.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is getting into the for-profit disaster response business. A veteran of emergency response operations -- having personally weathered Hurricane Andrew and then shepherded the state through 7 mega-hurricanes as governor -- Bush has joined forces with O'Brien's Response Management, an emergency planning company, according to a story in the Maritime Executive on its web site today.
According to the Maritime Executive's story, O'Brien's is a a wholly owned subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc. and joined forces with Bush's company, Old Rhodes Holdings LLC, to help the company expand into new markets. "O’Brien’s provides emergency planning, disaster response, preparedness consulting, crisis communications and regulatory compliance services to corporations and governments,'' the report says.
“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with one of the leading response organizations in the United States, backed by SEACOR’s global network,” Bush said. “Together we look forward to helping a broader array of organizations and communities become more resilient through preparation, response, communication and recovery.”
Leave it to Jeb Bush to join the rest of the family in the business of creating policies that prove disastrous, and finding a way to profit from them later in the private sector.
Hurricanes aren't the only disasters Bush is now poised to profit from. O'Brien's Response Management is a response management contractor to BP and is playing a significant role in the Gulf.
Without question, O'Brien's is the most well known name in response management in the oil and energy industry. Starting from the early days of the company, founder Jim O'Brien established a reputation for excellence in oil spill and industry incident response management.
A 24/7 Command Center in Slidell, Louisiana responds to over 1000 events per year
That doesn't exactly square with oil industry claims of "safe drilling" in the Gulf if they respond to over 1,000 events per year.
In 2010, as in most years previous, O'Brien's was the primary contractor and planner for the Spill of National Significance exercise--the national large scale oil spill exercise
O'Brien's serves as the Spill Management Team for the majority of major exploration and production operators in North America
O'Brien's PIER system and communication services group have been involved in more large scale oil and energy crisis events than any other communication technology or team
They also claim they're used in responding to more oil and energy industry response events than any other response management system--many times over. Again, so much for all those "safe drilling" claims.
Not surprisingly, oil spills are big business. Just ask the experts at O'Brien's Response Management, and their brand new "for-profit disaster response" business partner Jeb Bush.
We've all witnessed Republican desperation in the face of lost power since the 2008 election, and it hasn't been pretty. They've done a lot of stupid things and said "no" to virtually everything Democrats and President Obama have tried to do since then. It was bad enough that they stood by insurance companies against Americans and their right to basic health care without fear of going bankrupt, now they're doing everything in their power to take it away and undo the protections it provides, while they get their health care on us.
That's just one on a list of so many ways they've gone to bat for the plutocrats (many of them those very congressmen and women) and are in the process of doing their level best to aid the corporate takeover of America itself.
The Republicans seem to wear cruelty as a badge of honor in their race to the bottom, each one seeming to stoop to a new low as if it were a contest. They've done some pretty outrageous things, but I think we have a winner today.
It's tough to choose, but I think the new low (at least for today) goes to Eric Cantor (R-VA).
Today, when the death toll from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri stands at 119 as of this writing, Cantor has taken an opportunity to use the tragedy to his, and his "bully boys club" colleagues' advantage. He's simply going to hold those tornado victims "hostage."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.
“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.
In other words, they've said "we can't afford warning systems that would potentially save lives" because we really need to divert more of our budget to the rich folks in the form of things like tax cuts, because the majority of the nation's wealth being held by the top two percent just isn't quite enough. The have-nots will just have to make due (or die trying) so that "haves" can have lots more.
Eric Cantor would prefer to withhold aid to those tornado victims who have lost everything, so that rich folks like, oh I don't know, say Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott, can maintain the kind of living they've become accustomed to.
It was part of Scott's joking explanation about why his home city won't get hit. "We will not have a hurricane in Naples, Florida. I guarantee it."
As bad a "comedian" that he is, I truly wish he would give up his day job to work on his stand-up routine and turn the state over to someone who has a clue how to run one, but of course, that won't happen. It will be a true disaster if he's tested by a hurricane while in office, but it's those potential victims who don't have homes, much less a spare roof in the waiting who will suffer the most.
Which brings us back to the results of a disaster, what's happened in Joplin, Missouri, and Eric Cantor who wants to hold disaster victims hostage, with aid for those "have nots" as ransom.
People like Eric Cantor and Rick Scott, who laud their wealth and power over others as they play with people's lives hiding behind a podium in front of cameras, are cowards. Plain and simple. In a fair and just world, they would be held accountable for their actions. In a perfect world, a coward like Eric Cantor would have to actually face the people who have so little left while he tells them he wants to take away even more. If he's willing to hold the residents of Joplin hostage, I think he should hop on a plane and tell them so in person.
I'd love to see him go to Missouri with a camera crew and a podium and really show those victims in Joplin what a tough, powerful man he is, and there's no need for him to spend a single cent of tax cuts dollars to do it.